NZ Clean-Tech Company Starring on the Global Stage
15 September 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Zealand Clean-Tech Company Starring on the Global Stage
New Zealand clean-tech company, Greenlane Biogas Technologies, is again starring on the global biogas stage with the commissioning of the world’s biggest biomethane production plant in Montreal, Canada. The total value of the project is estimated at NZ$50m.
This follows the commissioning of a smaller plant last month in city of São Pedro da Aldei, in Brazil, valued at just under NZ$10m and a first for the state of Rio de Janerio.
After three challenging years which saw Greenlane Biogas dip into serious financial trouble the company is back with a clear focus on being the recognizable global leader. According to CEO, Tenby Powell, the success of the Montreal plant, which produces up to 16,000 m3 per hour of biomethane gives them every reason to set that goal.
Powell, who was appointed CEO after this company, Hunter Powell Investment Partners, invested in Greenlane Biogas in November last year, says, “While it has been a challenging period, it is testimony to the quality team of talented engineers and designers that the Montréal plant is pumping gas into the Trans-Canada grid exactly as it supposed to”.
“This was a combined NZ/Canadian team effort with resources being drawn from all our offices throughout the world including tech support from Europe”.
And this is not unfamiliar territory according to Powell. ”While this plant is the world’s largest by 60% gas production capacity, Greenlane had previously commissioned a plant in Gustrow, Germany, which is now the world’s second largest plant”.
Biogas, which consists mainly of methane, is produced when waste from landfills, manure, crops from agriculture and household food waste is broken down by micro-organisms in digesters, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. Biogas can be used for heating, power generation or ‘upgrading’ to natural gas cooking quality or for vehicle fuel.
To upgrade biogas to natural gas or vehicle fuel quality, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and other contaminants need to be separated and removed.
Initially, biogas upgrading was driven by the need for an environmentally friendly, sustainable and economically viable fuel which is interchangeable with natural gas. Many of the market’s initial installations provided fuels for natural gas vehicles.
The market is now shifting to include systems that inject upgraded biogas - biomethane - into existing natural gas pipeline networks.
Both the Greenlane projects in Canada and Brazil extract and upgrade biogas from landfills.
“Unlike gasoline, diesel and even natural gas, upgraded biogas is a renewable energy source drawn from naturally produced waste. The success of projects of this type enables us to view waste as energy as opposed to rubbish. In both these cases renewable energy derived from a naturally occurring process within the landfill”, says Tenby Powell.
Greenlane is a pioneer of this thinking and the design of the biogas upgrading plants.
Additional to these plants, we are commissioning a number throughout the world and, earlier this year, signed a JV relationship with a large Chinese company”, says Powell.
“My belief is that biomethane production in China will be bigger than the rest of the world combined. The Chinese central government has legislated to clean up. The opportunity is to both clean-up and upgrade – to biomethane – and we intend to position Greenlane Biogas as the global leader in this field”.